Education technology company Blackboard has announced a new skill for Alexa called Blackboard Learn. Using the voice assistant, users will be able to ask Alexa for information from Blackboard Learn, the company’s flagship Learning Management System. Students will be able to ask Alexa for information regarding:
- What homework they have to do
- When a certain project is due
- Course announcements
To activate the skill, users must attend a school that uses either Blackboard Learn Original or Learn Ultra. From there, the users have to link their Amazon accounts to their Blackboard accounts. Kathy Vieira, Blackboard’s Chief Strategy, Portfolio & Marketing Officer at Blackboard said in a recent press release,
“Today’s students want—and expect—to stay connected to their educational experience whether they’re at home, on the go, or in the classroom…We’re committed to helping learners seamlessly integrate their studies into their everyday lives and our collaboration with Amazon Alexa is another way that we are helping to enhance this experience for learners everywhere.”
Voice Assistants and Child Education
Blackboard’s new Alexa skill is not the first smart home skill to focus on children’s education. Earlier this summer, the children’s media brand Highlights partnered with Bamboo Learning, a software company that makes educational apps, to release a storytelling Alexa skill called Highlights Storybooks From Bamboo. Through the skill, kids can be read 12 different stories and asked follow-up questions after, which Alexa can evaluate and give feedback.
Similarly, Google has partnered with Disney to have the Google Assistant read along with select Golden Books. This skill is meant to be used with parents reading the books out loud to their children, providing background music and sound effects and pausing with the parent. Currently, the skill is available for books like Moana, Coco, and Alice in Wonderland. Along with the read-along skill, Google Home also has Disney-branded activities for children, although some of them are less educational than others.